When you think about it a library is a perfect expression of non sibi in action. Libraries were originally conceived as a way to preserve and share scarce, valuable materials so that individuals would have access to collective scholarship without having to purchase their own copies.
At the OWHL, materials are purchased using Academy funds for the collective benefit of the PA community. This model works very well to systematize the sharing of books and other materials as long as individuals who borrow them remember that they are part of a shared collection—and return them, undamaged, and on time.
The loan period for our own materials is typically three weeks (three days for DVDs). Loan periods may vary if the book, CD, or DVD was borrowed from one of our NOBLE partner libraries. We ask for the materials to be returned at the end of their loan period, but it is easy to renew them online if they are needed for longer periods as long as no one else is waiting for them.
Because our students are still learning how to put non sibi into action, we provide financial disincentives for late returns. In fact, DVD fines support the entire cost of the recreational DVD collection. We do not impose fines on adults, because we are counting on every adult
member of this community to be, well, an adult. We hope you are grateful that you have access to New York Times best-selling fiction books, scholarly books to support your course preparation and personal research, current feature films for adults and children, and much more by virtue of being a member of this community.
We are counting on you to understand that the system works only if people understand and observe non sibi. We are counting on you to observe your loan period and either renew or return materials when they are due. I am sorry to report that some adult members of our community have consistently violated this expectation. You know who you are! The books you have had for months on your shelves do not belong to you. They belong to everyone in this community. They were purchased for collective use. Someone is very likely waiting for the movie you saw last week and just haven’t taken the time to return. There is an exterior book return on the library patio. You have to pass this way going to Paresky.
Please, bring those books home.